Announcing a new transdisciplinary Glossary for research data management

Research Data Canada (RDC) in partnership with the international Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI) is pleased to announce the launch of a PILOT for a new interactive Glossary containing 500+ draft terms and definitions to support work in the field of research data management. The glossary is publicly available under a Creative Commons Attribution Only license (CC-BY) at

The Glossary is meant to be a practical reference for individuals and working groups concerned with the improvement of research data management, and as a meeting place for further discussion and development of terms. Each term has a unique identifier and a URL that can be used as a tool to enhance reading comprehension of documents by hyperlinking terms to their definition. The aim is to create a stable and sustainably governed glossary of community accepted terms and definitions, and to keep it relevant by maintaining it as a ‘living document’ that is upd! ated when necessary. The URL for each term contains a link to a discussion page to complete the feedback loop with the community of users. The glossary is developed and maintained by RDC’s Standards & Interoperability Committee (RDC-SINC) in collaboration with CASRAI.

Walter Stewart, Coordinator

UK research data management experts at the CSIR

Funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of adequate and appropriate provisions for data management and curation in new grant funding applications. At the same time, publicly-funded data is increasingly required to be openly accessible for researchers to build on and for the wider research community to benefit from. The Network of Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDICC), which the CSIR is currently chairing, in collaboration with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) in the UK, recently presented a workshop on research data management practices and principles. The aim of the workshop was to provide participants with the basic knowledge to start managing data at their respective institutions.

The workshop was influenced by important role players and experts in the field of digital curation, namely Joy Davidson (Associate Director, DCC), Sarah Jones (Senior Institutional Support Officer, DCC), Jim Mullins (Dean of Libraries, Purdue University), Elias Makonko (Research Data Curator, HSRC), and Anwar Vahed (Head: ICT for Earth Observation (ICT4EO) & DIRISA Manager).

The event, which took place on August 11 at the CSIR, was attended by 70 librarians, information specialists and research-assisting personnel from universities, universities of technology, and research councils across the country.

Following the workshop, NeDICC members, comprising data librarians and data curators from the ARC, CSIR, HSRC, the University of Pretoria, UNISA and Wits, participated in a half-day round table discussion with mentioned DCC staff members. Following the discussion very specific focus areas were identified as follow-up activities. These will be addressed in partnership with the DIRISA initiative. The three most important of these are the creation of a national web-based tool to support the creation of research data management plans, an investigation into a tiered system of trusted data repositories, and to establish very specific international collaboration agreements with established research data management stakeholders.

Article by Louise Patterton – CSIR Information Services

A short note on DMPs

The following was received from Herman Stehouwer, Research Data Alliance (RDA):
Dear active-DMP group,
Based on our recent activities with the European Infrastructures and several conversations we have created a very short (and rather pointed) note to kickstart some discussion on DMPs in general. One of the four points in this note is on the need for DMPs to be more active/adaptable. The plan is to turn this into an lively workshop around Q4/Q1 for the European discussion.
I appreciate all comments, especially comments on the active/adaptable

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New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC)

Clairoux, Natalie. 2015. “En Français S’il Vous Plaît: Translation and Adaptation of the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum’s Introductory Module.” Journal of eScience Librarianship 4(1): e1079.

Abstract: The New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) is “an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in the health sciences” (Lamar Soutter Library 2015a). This article reports on the French translation and adaptation of the first module of the NECDMC as part of the design of a short library instruction workshop.

Keywords: data management, instruction, NECDMC, Canada, French, translation

How to Track the Impact of Research Data with Metrics

This guide will help you to track and measure the impact of research data, whether your own or that of your department/institution. It provides an overview of the key impact measurement concepts and the services and tools available for measuring impact. After discussing some of the current issues and challenges, it provides some tips on increasing the impact of your own data. This guide should interest researchers and principal investigators working on data-led research, administrators working with research quality assessment submissions, librarians and others helping to track the impact of data within institutions.

See more at:

Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles

Received from Martie van Deventer:

Data citation principles:
Sound, reproducible scholarship rests upon a foundation of robust, accessible data. For this to be so in practice as well as theory, data must be accorded due importance in the practice of scholarship and in the enduring scholarly record. In other words, data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice and is part of the scholarly ecosystem supporting data reuse.

In support of this assertion, and to encourage good practice, we offer a set of guiding principles for data within scholarly literature, another dataset, or any other research object.

These principles are the synthesis of work by a number of groups. As we move into the next phase, we welcome your participation and endorsement of these principles.

Data archiving, management initiatives and expertise in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Cape Town

We received the following from Margaret Koopman, Data Librarian, SAEON Fynbos Node:

My MLIS is now on the OpenUCT repository (Data archiving, management initiatives and expertise in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Cape Town).
It is available via
Researchers produce large amounts of data during their research investigations and have a variety of interventions for the management of these data. It has not been the responsibility of academic institutions to manage research data, this responsibility has resided with the researchers and their research units. This investigation attempted to understand how pre-digital, early digital and current digital research data in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Cape Town had been and is being managed, if researchers had archived any of these data and what their opinions were on sharing their research data. Long-term ecological data are an important component of research in the Biological Sciences Department as researchers wish to understand ecosystem changes such as climate change, the spread of alien species and the impact of humans on land and marine exploitation. It is consequently critical that research data, past and present are properly managed for future research so that meaningful management decisions can be made. Research Data Management and the Research Life Cycle are phrases that are very much in the literature at present as librarians and university administrators grapple with the task of implementing data policies and data repositories. The literature review revealed that although the University of Cape Town may be a somewhat behind other international institutions in engaging with Research Data Management and repositories, investigations have been ongoing in other parts of the world and in the international community the groundwork has already been done. Research data have been the preserve of researchers and they are reluctant to give up control of their hard-earned data, usually the result of hours spent on funding applications, and field or laboratory work. Data sets of sufficient quantity and quality to answer research questions can take a researcher a lifetime to accumulate and they understandably do not wish to make these openly available without the insurance that their work will be acknowledged. The findings of this research project revealed that in the absence of systematic data management initiatives at institutional level, researchers had preserved many long-term data sets and in some instances were archiving with international repositories specific to their data types. The findings resulted in a range of suggested interventions for the support of Research Data Management at the University of Cape Town.